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Zuma drums up support ahead of ANC birthday

The president was flanked by police as he went on a walkabout in Philippi on Tuesday.

President Jacob Zuma smiles as he is welcomed by a crowd of Philippi residents in Cape Town on 6 January 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday made his first public appearance ahead of the African National Congress (ANC)'s 103rd anniversary bash in Cape Town.

Wearing a hat and an ANC branded golf shirt, the president went on a walkabout in Philippi on Tuesday, flanked by police officers.

Dozens of locals gathered on a street to catch a glimpse of Zuma.

Police officers tried to push back the crowd as the president greeted a group of elderly woman waiting on the pavement.

Zuma then told residents the ANC had to take back the municipality in the upcoming local government elections before the party could claim the province from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

He says as long as the province is not in the ANC's hands, residents will continue to suffer.

Zuma and the ANC's top brass are drumming up support ahead of the party's 103rd anniversary bash at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

POLITICAL 'CARNIVAL'

The South African Communist Party (SACP) joined the ANC on Tuesday in accusing the DA of sabotaging the ANC's 103rd birthday celebrations.

It said the same should be done to the opposition in Gauteng.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Monday referred to the Western Cape as an apartheid province and claimed his party's right to assemble freely had been limited.

SACP Gauteng chairperson Joe Mpisi says the ruling party should flex its muscles where it governs.

"We are leading in government nationally, they are leading a tiny province. Now, if they sabotage the ANC not to have its 103rd birthday in the Western Cape, they are saying to us we must behave like them."

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